Monday, March 18, 2013

"Art of Acrylic Glazing" online course goes LIVE!

Hi all! 

I am excited to announce that after climbing one of the steeper learning curves in recent years I have succeeded in creating my first online Art Instruction Course.
It's called "The Art Of Acrylic Glazing".

Just before Christmas 2012 I received an email from recruiting me to create the course.

I was impressed by the very fact that they have people on staff who are trawling around the net seeking out potential candidates that they 'like' as a 'world expert'. 

I went ahead and started nibbling on the elephant, one bite at a time and now, after about 10 weeks of slogging through all the Curriculum requirements, it's happening!

Want to learn how to paint like the masters? This art course shows how!

 It was a real pleasure to work with the amazing staff at Udemy, who shepherded me through the whole process from the word GO!

Although I have painted hundreds and hundreds of canvasses, not to mention many many large murals in my day, it was an extra challenge to create this course. EVERY step of the way -12 in all- were carefully documented by HD video and then each of the videos were transcribed as lecture notes to clarify and emphasize the lessons. 

The 12 videos take you ALL THE WAY from a blank canvas through to a finished piece.
The course is set up and designed so that you -the painting 'apprentice'- can follow along at your own pace. You can go back and repeat view any or all of the material as often as you wish. The lecture notes are also printable so that you basically have a full-blown textbook to go along with the video demonstrations!

I'll be writing more as this thing develops...can't you tell I'm kinda excited about it?

In my happy place.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

My first online Art Course about to go LIVE!

For about the past six weeks I've been working away on a new painting.
What's so remarkable about that you ask?
Well, for the first time ever I've been chronicling every step of the way with HD video with the intention of creating my first ever online Art Instruction Course through the world-famous, one of the most respected and successful online Academies of Learning in business today.
I got an email from one of their administrators recruiting me in early December 2012.
After the extreme learning curve that I have surmounted since then it seems like that was a life-time ago.
First thing I needed to get started was a high-definition video camera, because at Udemy they take the online learning experience very seriously.
After a bit of comparison shopping, I settled on a Panasonic Lumix model camera, based on the advice from a friend in the biz.
Between the camera and Corel Video Studio Pro X6, I have managed to pull all the moving parts together into a semblance of order.
The first trial by fire was the creation of an 'Intro Video' that promotes the course...oh yeah, called "The Art of Acrylic Glazing". 
Here's what I came up with:

The painting I referred to is finished and so is my first series of 12 demonstration videos that make up the 'Art of Acrylic Glazing' course.
It was really interesting to put that much thought and energy into not only trying to clearly explain the technical aspects of glazing, but also all of the technical considerations of creating a legible video document of the process as I went. It was quite the balancing act!

At first I must admit, I was a bit overwhelmed by it all. 

But as time went on and I got deeper into the process I started to find my groove.

It was a big help to be on the receiving end of all of the generosity of time and expertise that was offered by the staff at during those early moments of sheer panic. They have likely heard it all before and lots besides from their rookie instructors.

The pain was kept to a minimum thanks to the studio that they've set up on Facebook where instructors are invited to field any questions and anxieties they might have when starting up. That has been a huge help!

I'll be writing more as this thing gets hatched aka goes live in the next little while. 
I think it has a lot of potential to do well.

While I'm here I may as well show you the 'demo' painting that I decided to create for my first course.
I love the great out-doors and our yard with the flower gardens, so I decided to tackle a painting of 'Tiger Lilies' that grow every summer just outside our big picture window.

This painting was created in 12 organized steps for the 'Art of Acrylic Glazing' course.

Once I get my 'Art of Acrylic Glazing' course authorized by the administration of it goes LIVE. 

The plan is to roll out a series of demonstrations that offer a variety of genres for you to choose from as your introduction to the glazing technique: landscape, still-life, floral, portrait, etc. I've found that this 'technique' lends itself perfectly to the whole spectrum of genres, even large mural-painting.

As a little bonus (and to experiment with my new toys) I built this 1 minute video for you:

And try this next one on for size while you're here...12 steps from a blank canvas through to a finished piece in just 48 seconds. But who's counting?

This is me experimenting with some new toys.

So long for now, thanks for all your support!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Artist Spotlight: Nfld-based G. Matthews Painter/Philanthropist

No man is an island , even if he happens to live on one. 

Newfoundland-based visual artist Graham Matthews has

long been a strong advocate for artists worldwide in his role

as creator of the wildly successful artists' resource website That is, when he is not busy creating

his own distinctive blend of surreal and abstract oil paintings

that depict the iconic images of his home and native land.

Graham Matthews at work in his Newfoundland studio.

Name: Graham Matthews
Region and Country: Newfoundland, Canada

Mediums: Oil on Canvas, Acrylic, Graphite

Style: Surreal, Abstract, Abstract Realism

Please tell us about your first experience creating:
For as long as I can remember, I have had an inclination toward creating. Art was my favorite subject in elementary school. I can remember everyone saying I would be an artist someday. As a child, I would often doodle and sculpt with play doe. Unfortunately, art was not part of the curriculum from grades 7 to 12, but I did draw often during my teenage years.

How long have you considered yourself an artist?
I think I only considered myself an artist since I completed my first painting. Before art school, I did not have the confidence, encouragement or know-how to paint. But, I had been drawing for years. My first painting was completed in my first year of art school in 1996. My professor was the Canadian artist Harold Klunder. He gave us a painting project where we were to construct a huge 4x5 feet canvas with the theme of “octagon”. It was up to us to interpret this word any way we wanted. I still have this painting in my home. It’s not the best technically, but for me it’s the painting that initially gave me the confidence to say “I can do this!”

Capelin Run  By: Graham Matthews. Oils on canvas.

What are you trying to convey to viewers through your art?
There are different levels to what I am trying to convey. On one level (outward) I am trying to show the beauty of my own surroundings. This province is filled with so much inspiration. I grew up near the ocean and fishery, so this has become a dominant part of my work. My artwork is filled with scenes and images which I have seen all my life and are a part of me.
On another level, I am trying to draw viewers in, and get them involved in the artwork. I do this by shading, creating a sense of space and movement, repetition, use of perspective, and sometimes using high contrast. I also try to pay attention to every part of a painting, not just the focal point.
On still another level (inward), my artwork has become my personal autobiography. I have used it in different ways: to release anger, overcome frustrations, express love, show my inner pain. Many times, because of the personal nature of some of these themes, I sometimes “hide” them inside my paintings. It is my way to release frustrations, without expressing them outwardly.

By: Graham Matthews. Oils on canvas.

Tell us about your creative process, from the beginning of a typical piece to its completion:
My paintings begin in one of two ways. With an idea and sometimes a photo reference, or trying to cover the blank canvas as quickly as I can… many times it depends on my mood. This may seem chaotic, but I do have my own reasons and approaches in both cases.
When I begin with an idea, I plan out the painting. I first sketch on the canvas and then establish basic tones and composition. I let this dry and work on another painting. When I return, I work on contrast between dark and light areas, then let this dry. Next, comes brighter color and definition of areas. Most of my paintings involve several layers and a long process of reorganizing the composition until I am satisfied with the result. I have been known to make big compositional improvements in some paintings when I thought they were close to completion.
When I begin without a set plan, I cover the canvas as quickly as I can. I work with what I see on the canvas, creating forms and imagery. The painting comes to life through several layers, and the theme evolves with what I see on the canvas. The approach is the complete opposite of the other way I paint. This is typically for my psychological themed artwork though.

Meeting of the Titans 
By: Graham Matthews. Oils on canvas.

What things inspire you to create art?
There are many things that inspire me to create art: my own experiences, nature, culture, things I see around me everyday, life, love, disappointments, successes, heartache, loss, etc.

Have you sold any of your artworks?
Most of the artwork I have sold are commission based and sold locally - portraits, animals, landscapes, paintings of houses, and more.

How do you promote your art on the internet?
I have a website/blog as my central location on the web. I also have many profiles at portfolio type websites, and make sure to link my main website with those. I have a Facebook page, newsletter, Twitter profile, Pinterest, Linkedin, Google + and more. Read Artpromotivate.. you will see the other things I do.. :)

I have many influences. Most of my influences come from my own life, experiences and surroundings – province of Newfoundland and Labrador. As for artists who have influenced me, these are: Salvador Dali, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Harold Klunder, Tom Thompson, Monet, and more.

Reflections of the Past 
By: Graham Matthews. Oils on canvas.

What is the most annoying thing someone has said to you about your art?
I have heard many things said to me over the years. I shared some of this in my post here. Although some of the things have discouraged me, I am now at a point where it does not affect me.

Ice-Berg Flow
By: Graham Matthews. Oils on canvas.

Do you have any regrets in your life as an artist?
I have many regrets, mainly that I listened to people who discouraged me from becoming an artist early in life. I tried many other things besides art, but always was unhappy with what I was doing. I think different people are born to do different things – I was always meant to be an artist!

By: Graham Matthews. Oils on canvas.

What plans do you have for the future of your art?
I have many plans. Creating many more paintings, creating more series, bringing more focus to my work, writing more articles for Artpromotivate, helping the online art community as much as I possibly can.

Squids hung out to dry
By: Graham Matthews. Oils on canvas.

Do you have any good advice for emerging artists?
I would say to stay positive, and don’t let disappointments and setbacks hold you back. Keep creating art no matter what people say to you. Make art even when you are not selling, and through all your ups and downs of life. If you have a day-time job or are raising a family, do it in your spare time. As long as you are devoting time to your dream, even if it is one painting a month, you are still growing as an artist. One day when you retire or the family is raised, you will have more time. But, if you have not been creating art all along, it will be like starting all over again.

I would like to thank Michael Gaudet for giving me this opportunity to be spotlighted! He has been such a great supporter of Artpromotivate and an encouragement to me from day one, and I am very grateful for that.